These beautiful works of art might just be one of my favorite lessons of all time. They turned out so beautiful and I get compliments from teachers and visitors in the building all the time.
Second graders learned all about Claude Monet by first using their new devices to watch videos and look at his art on the National Gallery of Art Website. They looked at his style and tried to figure out how he made his art. One student described his work as "messy but neat".
The second day they use watercolors and salt on watercolor paper to make the background. They used blues, purple, and magenta to create the reflections in the water and the sky. The salt gave it a bumpy texture.
Day two they rubbed off the excess salt and used a variety of tools to add all of the plants and other things from nature. Sponges were used on the trees and bushes. They learned how to dab two colors to create shadows and textures. They used paint brushes to make the lily pads and learned how to mix tints and shades of green.
Day three was all about adding the final details and the bridge with oil pastels. They looked closely at Monet's bridge and photos of the real Japanese Bridge from his garden for inspiration.
Overall, this lesson was a great success and touched on all parts of the art making process: research using technology, painting, using different materials and tools, foreground/middle ground/background, art history.